FROM WASTE TO WEALTH Using Disruptive Technology to Substantially Reduce Maintenance Costs


FROM WASTE TO WEALTH Using Disruptive Technology to Substantially Reduce Maintenance Costs

January 2024


Progress and evolution are inevitable, and during the early 20th Century our world was dramatically changed by ‘disruptive technology’ in the form of the gas-powered automobile. Thankfully, this game-changing innovation also sparked the creation of the Parking Industry most of us work in! A century later, many of us are grappling with how to best adapt to, and most effectively utilize the current version of ‘disruptive technology’ to improve our business models and increase our profitability. 


Some of the recent opportunities and challenges brought about by this current technology include: lighting/security, cameras, automatic payment systems, gateless entry/exit, artificial intelligence, flex parking, frictionless parking, license plate recognition … and of course, adapting current parking structures to accommodate electric vehicles. Implementing these changes on the thousands of concrete parking structures operating across this country requires the owners and operators to properly educate themselves on what these new technologies are, as well as to make substantial investments in their structures. 


Don’t Lose Focus on the Parking Structure Itself


With a substantial focus in the U.S. marketplace being to improve the means and methods of operating parking structures by purchasing the items listed above, what is often lost in the background noise is taking care of the actual concrete structure itself. As the core of the entire operation, the parking structure involves a large and costly initial investment, followed by expensive ongoing maintenance projects. Among the costliest of these is: trying to protect the concrete structure from deterioration caused by both man-made chemicals and the elements. For the past several decades this has been accomplished by using products that are designed to only perform for 5-10 years before needing to be re-applied again and again. 


Let this Sink in for a Minute


Fortunately, the ‘disruptive technology’ category also includes a well-proven concrete waterproofing system that only needs to be applied ‘one time’ for the entire lifespan of the parking structure, with the added benefit of extending the lifespan of the structure by decades. Let that sink in for a minute! In the U.S. our concrete parking structures are generally engineered to have a service life of 50 years, and they are usually being protected by materials that are designed to work for only a fraction of that. 


Making this one simple change can reduce the short and long-term maintenance costs of most parking structures by hundreds of thousands of dollars, while also eliminating the costly and aggravating disruption that occurs each time you reapply the sealer or coating products. If you stop and think about the significant impact that can have on your operation (cost effective … long-term … less disruptive … extends the lifespan of the structure), hopefully you’ll also want to educate yourself further on this topic. The remainder of this article will help to do just that. 


Bending the Cost Curve Downward


While you’re educating yourselves about all the new possible improvements to operating your parking structure, one alternative to consider for protecting the structure itself is the award-winning TechCrete 2500 Waterproofing System. Over the past half century, it has been used on thousands of commercial/industrial projects around the globe, but has only recently begun gaining widespread acceptance in the U.S. marketplace. 


This unique system takes a completely different approach to protecting the parking structure. It utilizes EMSS technology (Enzyme Modified Sodium Silicate) to form a subsurface waterproofing gel that protects the concrete matrix from inside the slab itself – while also increasing the durability of the drive surface. As a result, it cannot be damaged, deteriorate, blister, delaminate, or any of the other problems that traffic coatings regularly have. Since it’s been specifically formulated to provide long-term protection, one application will protect the concrete structure for its entire 50-year design-life and more. That means there’s no need to periodically close the parking structure again and again for reapplications of traffic coatings or concrete sealers. 


This is true ‘waterproofing’ technology that’s regularly used on water treatment plants, highway bridges, containment vessels, dams, tunnels, marinas, airports, stadiums, pools, etc. This well-proven subsurface membrane technology was recently used by the New Jersey D.O.T. to protect 5 million sq.ft. of highway bridges and is currently being applied to the new concrete railroad bridges being constructed for the Tren Maya project in Mexico (1,000 miles of new railroad being built in the Yucatan Peninsula), as well as the new commercial airport that’s being built as part of the project.


The initial cost of the TechCrete 2500 Waterproofing System is generally less than most high-level traffic coating systems, while performing several decades longer. Of course, your life-cycle cost will be dramatically lower because it will not need to be re-applied 4 or 5 more times during the 50-year design life of the parking structure. As you do your research, you’ll find that the financial benefits of the TechCrete 2500 Waterproofing System far outweigh all other options. The elimination of future disruptions from the equation also means you eliminate the lost revenues that generally accompany them.


New Construction and Existing Structures


Numerous studies have shown that the earlier in a parking structure’s life that full waterproofing protection begins, the better chance it has of lasting decades past its original design life. When the TechCrete 2500 Waterproofing System is applied during the initial construction of the parking structure (starting with the concrete pour) it can qualify for Alchemco’s 30-year labor and material warranty; and if it is used on existing structures, it can still qualify for our 20-year labor and material warranty. 


Hopefully this article has intrigued you enough to investigate this impactful tool, which can substantially lower the cost of maintaining your parking facilities. More information about this standard-setting waterproofing technology can be found at or stop by and see us at the 2024 Parking Industry Expo in March at booth #401. We’ll also be presenters at the event.


MARIO BAGGIO An innovative & entrepreneurial global business owner, moved his family from Rio de Janeiro to Richmond, VA in 2016 because he wanted his global headquarters located in the U.S. Two years later, he purchased a company that had invented a game-changing waterproofing technology almost a half century earlier and formed Alchemco to add to his growing portfolio of companies.

Article contributed by:
Mario Baggio, Alchemco
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